Recurrent Events Data Analysis for Product
Repairs, Disease Recurrences, and Other

Wayne B. Nelson

ASA-SIAM Series on Statistics and Applied Probability #10

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Supplementary Material

Survival data consist of a single event for each population unit, namely, end of life, which is modeled with a life distribution. In contrast, many applications involve repeated-events data, where a unit may accumulate any number of events over time. Examples include the number and cost of repairs of products, the number and treatment costs of recurrent disease episodes in patients, and the number of childbirths to statisticians. This applied book provides practitioners with basic nonparametric methods for such data, particularly the plot of the estimate of the population mean cumulative function (MCF), which yields most of the information sought.

Recurrent Events Data Analysis for Product Repairs, Disease Recurrences, and Other Applications is the first book to present a simple, unified theory that includes data on costs or other "values" of discrete events, not just the number of events. It surveys computer programs that calculate and plot the MCF estimate with confidence limits, shows their output, and explains how to interpret such plots. Many such calculations can be easily done with a pocket calculator or spreadsheet program. Also, the book introduces basic Poisson and Cox regression models and parametric models, including homogeneous and nonhomogeneous Poisson processes and renewal processes.


This book is a needed addition to the literature, since suitable nonparametric models and data analyses for recurrent events appear in few books and much of the literature is too abstract for most practitioners who need such methodology. The intended audience for this book includes engineers, medical researchers, social scientists, statisticians, and other practitioners who encounter repeated events data. The only background needed is a basic statistics course. Previous knowledge of stochastic processes is not needed, as the simple presentation is self-contained.

About the Author

Wayne B. Nelson is a leading expert on reliability data analysis and statistical methods for accelerated testing. He privately consults throughout industry on diverse engineering and scientific applications of statistics. He develops and presents statistical courses for companies, universities, and professional societies. Dr. Nelson also works as an expert witness. He is the author of two other books and more than 120 publications on statistical methods and is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the American Society for Quality, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.


Preface; Acknowledgements; Chapter 1: Recurrent Events Data and Applications; Chapter 2: Population Model, MCF, and Basic Concepts; Chapter 3: MCF Estimates for Exact Age Data; Chapter 4: MCF Confidence Limits for Exact Age Data; Chapter 5: MCF Estimate and Limits for Interval Age Data; Chapter 6: Analysis of a Mix of Events; Chapter 7: Comparison of Samples; Chapter 8: Survey of Related Topics; References; Index

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